The loan forgiveness application for the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program is finally here. (Click for the PDF.) On Friday, the U.S. Treasury quietly posted the application to the Small Business Administration website, along with a press release saying that “regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers” will soon follow. Crickets on that so far.
The appearance of the application answers the burning question of the more than 1.66 million applicants approved for PPP loans as of April: What exactly do they need to do to have their billions in PPP funds forgiven?
Fair warning that the application is 11 pages long and complicated (schedules! calculation forms! worksheets!), including a table to calculate which parts of the loan are eligible to be forgiven (bad news: not all of it). Borrowers must complete the application and submit it to their lenders; some lenders may have online versions of the application.
Last week, the SBA also updated its PPP FAQ page, answering borrowers’ other burning question: Will lenders seek verifiable proof that the loans were “necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant?” Short answer: no, not for loan amounts under $2 million. (See FAQ question No. 46.) The forgiveness application does ask recipients of loans of more than $2 million to identify themselves, indicating that audits might be in the future for those borrowers.
The rollout and disbursement of the loans, which were meant to help small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, have been mired in controversy. Some of the largest recipients, including restaurant chains such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, have decided that the best option is to simply give the money back.